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Shopping Tips: California Farmers Markets

Published on: January 20, 2014

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Pictured is Redlands Thursday Market. After posting a list of California farmers’ markets with 30 vendors or more, several people contacted us offered their tips for great markets to visit.

Viewers’ tips:

  • The City of Redlands hosts a Thursday night market from 6 to 9 p.m. on State Street between Orange & 9th Streets. There are more than 20 produce vendors and 100 merchants selling crafts, arts, clothing, gifts, etc. See: cityofredlands.org
  • Lodi hosts a seasonal market during the summer months. See: lodichamber.com

Tips for shopping at Farmers Markets:

  • Go earlier rather than later if you want the biggest selection.
  • Walk through the entire market and look at all the offerings before you buy. There are many differences in prices for the same produce type and quality.
  • Embrace the seasons. In January you’re likely to find: Asparagus, Avocados, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Cherimoyas, Dates, Medjool, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mushroom, Onion, Passion Fruit, Green Peas and Strawberries. Also look for citrus fruits such as Blood Orange, Grapefruit, Kumquats, Lemons, Navel Oranges and Tangelos/Tangerines.
  • Bring small bills and change to help out the farmers and vendors.
  • Certified Farmers’ Markets are permitted Food Facilities, so no dogs (except service dogs) are allowed.
  • Old baby and toddler carts make good shopping carts. If you use wire folding cart, put in a box or liner or your produce will fall through the wire squares.
  • Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. 
  • Make sure you know where your car keys are. The number one lost and found items are car keys.
  • Bargaining for small amounts is not well received. Bargaining for big boxes or great amounts is usually acceptable.
  • Some of the best tasting fruit is cosmetically challenged.
  • Be careful not to damage the fresh fruit direct from the grower.
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